Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneurs: Anissa Holmes and Rachel Bowman

June 28, 2013 - 

Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneurs are Anissa Holmes and Rachel Bowman of Iris Blu, a national event staffing agency featuring over 3500 talents across Canada. What was the inspiration for their business? Find out in today’s profile…

Elevator Pitch: Describe your business in a nutshell.
Iris Blu is a national event staffing agency with over 3500 talents across Canada. Iris Blu strikes the perfect balance between large-scale capacity and boutique-style service. With a strong presence in major and rural cities across Canada, we provide event staffing, management and wardrobe services to a wide range of corporate and promotional occasions. From brand ambassadors, hosts and models, to presenters, tradeshow staff and performers, our talent creates meaningful, live interactions that produce desired results.

Why did you start your business, what was the inspiration? 
We started Iris Blu to change the face of promotional staffing as we know it. With our backgrounds, vast as they are, we immediately saw where this industry could improve as well as the importance of great service to our clients. Great talent is an asset for not only us, but to our clients as well, and it is and will always be our mission to ensure that it’s our top priority. 

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part? 
The best part of what we do is the interactions we have with so many different people. We’re constantly working on new projects, new events and with new talent, so no two days are ever the same.  The most challenging part of what we do is ensuring our clients’ needs are met regardless of the request. We want people who work with us to feel confident and trust that we are here to help. Their success is our success. 

Where do you see your business going in five years? 
In five years we would like to see Iris Blu leading international talent and accounts. In just over two years we have expanded into all the major cities and small pockets across Canada with professional, engaging and experienced talent. Time and time again we have worked to ensure our clients, wherever they may be, get exactly what they need and want. This business is about listening and understanding a client’s wants and needs and matching the perfect talent for the job.

What does success look like to you? 
Success is continued growth in our business, continuing to learn, improve, and expand. Anissa feels successful everyday because she has a beautiful and healthy baby boy, a loving partner and a business she thrives in, while Rachel feels success is overall happiness. I want my business to flourish of course, and I want to hit that “end of the tunnel” goal, but being disgustingly rich does not drive me. Having a family to enjoy my earnings and experience life with is the driving force of my success.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
The most memorable moment is when we were hired directly by the UFC to staff a private event when the UFC first came to Toronto with 50 atmosphere models. It was very early days but we buckled down and made it happen and it went amazing. The other big moment for me was when we secured our first ongoing national client, which we are now in our third year with. Both of these times really brought it home that we were on the right path to becoming Canada’s leading event-staffing agency.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals? 
Simply do what you love, do what feels right, and always have faith. Faith can come in many different forms, it could be failure or success; whatever form it may come in, always pursue your dream and make it a reality. Don’t be afraid to fail, as failure can make you stronger.

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
We are supporters of Rally for Sick Kids and the Three to be Foundation. I feel very strongly about both of these charities and can’t wait to see all the great things that will come from their hard work.

What is Notable to you?
Notable is being true to yourself and those around you; big dreamers and hard workers.

Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
Definitely iPhone. I was all about my BlackBerry for 6+ years and finally made the switch last year.  After I stopped playing with all the apps, I finally realized how amazing it is for my type of business.

How do you keep active, energetic, and vibrant?
Yoga is very effective to stimulate the body, mind and soul. Healthy eating and lifestyle are also very important, and making time for exercise whether at a gym or at home. Having a positive outlook on life will motivate you to stay healthy and alert. 

Anissa Holmes